Initially, there is a breaking open, a liberation from the influence and grip of the mindset, the mind state or mind culture. At that stage, even the body-mind is felt as a phenomenon that is observable; it’s now no longer the mind-self that is witnessing me, it is ‘formess’, the ‘What Is’, that is witnessing the mind.
We are mostly troubled by thoughts that are personal. Many thought movements happen but they don’t register, they don’t linger, because we don’t have any real interest in them. And if you don’t have any interest in a thing, you don’t need to transcend it. It’s only if something is ‘biting-in’ that a struggle ensues and the question ‘who am I and what is this?’ can come to life for a genuine seeker of truth. Only then will the process of transcendence be experienced.
But mostly we are not troubled by thoughts we have no interest in; it is only when there is interest and desire that we become troubled. So therein lies the secret: finding the one to whom the thoughts are occurring, who has some relationship with those thoughts. Such a one cannot be said of the pure observer, who must be impersonal, beyond content. So if and when that is seen, it will be a very important point of seeing because it releases one from the sense that there is a ‘me’ as an actual, tangible entity being attacked by life, memory, thought, or emotion.
That ‘me’, although it feels intimate, is now recognized to be a phenomenon because it is observable. When this is recognized profoundly, what remains as the observing is non-personal, or a sort of impersonal beingness/state. And it’s that place of the impersonal observing that is called the state of liberation.
However, even after a state of awakening occurs, there often continues to linger the habit of identifying oneself as a person. If this delusion is not checked it will tend to sprout seeds that distract or hypnotize the beingness into the state of mortality. The only way out of that is to abide as the witness-Self rather than the ‘I-me’. Like this, those seeds will reduce in power for lack of fuel and will wither and pass way.
So even after this first stage where one comes to an understanding that I am not this phenomenal body, it is only then that the vasana energies are released with heightened power. Prior to that, it is almost as if the vasanas themselves don’t need to release their power, because we are already co-operating nicely under a spell, the sleep-waking state. It is as if the conditioning, the belief: I am a person, I am this body-mind, is sufficient to keep us unaware of the Self and in a state of sludge-like delusion. It is only when you are waking up out of the sleep of the body-mind identity that you begin to feel the glue of the body-mind state in its play as vasanas.
So when we are coming out of that sleep state (ignorance), through the grace and power of satsang, we start to feel, discern and recognize the dormant, egoic energies and impressions that were hidden while we remained identified as persons. As they come into the light of recognition, they will create the sense of a tsunami inside the body mind.
But even then, there is the power within you to keep observing them, to know that they too are phenomenal. It will not be easy, initially, because here is where the stored power of identity has fermented and they will arise with much force.
It will take some effort In the beginning to observe them with detachment, without being pulled into the spell of identity with them. But that season also passes.